NEW DELHI: Tiger Woods arrived in New Delhi yesterday for his first visit to India, where he will play a round with special guests at a private event organised by a motorcycle company.
The world number one arrived from the United Arab Emirates where he had competed in the Dubai Desert Classic, and was whisked from the VIP area at the airport under tight security.
Woods is expected to play an 18-hole round with special invitees at the heavily guarded Delhi Golf Club today morning, an event that is closed to the public and the media.
“I am afraid this is a strictly private affair,” a club official said.
“Even regular members will not be allowed in unless they have been invited.”
The 14-time Major winner will play alongside Hero Motors boss Pawan Munjal and his guests that include two renowned Indian golfers, Shiv Kapur and Arjun Atwal.
Kapur, a member of the upscale Delhi Golf Club, is a regular on the European and Asian tour. Atwal is a long-time friend and PGA Tour colleague of Woods.
Media reports speculated that Woods could be earning an appearance fee worth a seven-figure dollar sum for his short trip.
Despite the public and media being excluded from the event, Kapur said Woods’s presence would boost golf’s image in the cricket-mad nation.
“Tiger’s visit to India is going to make a huge impact and there is a big buzz already not only in Delhi but the whole country,” Kapur said on the sidelines of the Dubai Desert Classic last week.
“I know the members at my club are very excited and there is going to be people climbing all over the walls just to get a glimpse of Tiger.
“As everyone knows, cricket dominates sport in India. So for at least one day the world’s top golfer is going to steal all the attention away from the Sachin Tendulkars and Virender Sehwags.”